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Is the statement "Lions led by Donkeys" accurate? To answer this question, I will have to assess the attitude of the Generals during the First World War. Were the Generals "donkeys" and the soldiers "lions"?

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Introduction Is the statement "Lions led by Donkeys" accurate? To answer this question, I will have to assess the attitude of the Generals during the First World War. Were the Generals "donkeys" and the soldiers "lions"? To help answer, I must look at an argument that has yet to be solved. This is my only hope of discovering the truth. The Case For The Interpretation There are many arguments that support this allegation. The first one, which I will look at, is that the Generals lived miles away from the Front and did not know what it was like. A source that supports this argument is part of a script on Blackadder Goes Forth, which describes their next attack as "Field Marshal Haig's gargantuan effort to move his drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin." This is only a television program and the writer may have a grudge against Field Marshal Haig. We cannot use this as reliable evidence and so we must question its trustworthiness. Source 1 BLACKADDER: IF YOU MEAN, "ARE WE ALL GOING TO GET KILLED?" YES. CLEARLY, FIELD MARSHAL HAIG IS ABOUT TO MAKE YET ANOTHER GARGANTUAN EFFORT TO MOVE HIS DRINKS CABINET SIX INCHES CLOSER TO BERLIN. ...read more.


IT'S CLASSIFIED INFORMATION. BLACKADDER: IT'S THE SAME PLAN THAT WE USED LAST TIME, AND THE SEVENTEEN TIMES BEFORE THAT. MELCHETT: E-E-EXACTLY! AND THAT IS WHAT IS SO BRILLIANT ABOUT IT! WE WILL CATCH THE WATCHFUL HUN TOTALLY OFF-GUARD! DOING PRECISELY WHAT WE HAVE DONE EIGHTEEN TIMES BEFORE THAT IS EXACTLY THE LAST THING THEY'LL EXPECT US TO DO THIS TIME! THERE IS HOWEVER ONE SMALL PROBLEM. BLACKADDER: THAT EVERYONE ALWAYS GETS SLAUGHTERED THE FIRST TEN SECONDS. MELCHETT: THAT'S RIGHT! AND FIELD MARSHAL HAIG IS WORRIED THAT THIS MAY BE DEPRESSING THE MEN A TADGE. SO, HE'S LOOKING TO FIND A WAY TO CHEER THEM UP. BLACKADDER: WELL, HIS RESIGNATION AND SUICIDE WOULD SEEM THE OBVIOUS SOLUTION. The last part of the argument was that the soldiers who were described as "lions" were sent to fight in impossible conditions. They were cold, wet and miserable due to the lack of food and water. Once the soldiers began to realise that they were living in the wrong conditions, misery set in and Field Marshal Haig was becoming more popular. A poem was written by one of the soldiers who survived the war, and he tells of the conditions and the thoughts of the soldiers. ...read more.


I believe that it was only after the war, when we had hindsight, did we start to criticise Haig. Source 5 VERY SUCCESSFUL ATTACK THIS MORNING... ALL WENT LIKE CLOCKWORK... THE BATTLE IS GOING VERY WELL FOR US AND ALREADY THE GERMANS ARE SURRENDERING FREELY. From when we first learned of our mistakes, we instantly blamed the Generals and Haig for the atrocities of the War, but it was the politicians that gave the Generals their orders. Surely we shouldn't be blaming the middleman? If anyone, it should be the politicians who should be getting it in the neck. They idly sat by and watched the Generals and Field Marshal Haig get blamed. After that, the politicians gave Haig a house, �100,000 and made him an Earl. Conclusion In conclusion, I feel that the Generals were and were not "donkeys" in a sense that they were doing what they thought was right. Not only was it the only option, but also it seemed the only solution to the fighting. I am still unable to make a decision about the argument but I believe that both sides have valid and worthy points of view. "Lions led by Donkeys", is this interpretation true of the Generals in the Great War? 1 ...read more.

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